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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
9
Paint It Black
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on 26 June 2012
I loved `White Oleander' but this sophisticated book is just better. I simply can't understand the mixed reviews here - maybe people were expecting `White Oleander' part two. I wonder if some readers got only so far - perplexed at (the main protagonist) Josie's devotion to her dead boyfriend, Michael, after he'd left her so cruelly. The struggling artist with no thought for the mess his suicide would leave behind. But read on - nobody is that one dimensional here. There are no stereotypes in this book. Every character is fully realised, the childhood road to dysfunction or evil, mapped out, chapter by chapter - so you'll be able to engage with all the characters (even the `villains'). I've rarely encountered landscapes, soundscapes depicted so well. This book has such heart and soul. I'm not giving much away by writing about the suicide (as it happens right at the start of the book), but I will say that if you think: This is going to be such a downer, I don't think I'll bother, you'll miss one hell of a novel.

It's not an exploitative, `glamorous' suicide book for morbid teenagers - the ending (as someone else pointed out) will make you smile. There is redemption. This woman was born to write - an intelligent and sensitive human being. If Bret Easton Ellis had written it they'd call it a work of genius. I wonder if the Jonathan Franzen /`Oprah' association snobbery has done Fitch no favours. One of the best books I've ever read. If you want to write fiction, this is your blueprint.
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on 24 March 2012
I absolutely loved White Oleander - not so much for the plot as for the fascinating characters, character development and relationships throughout the book - so I was really looking forward to reading Paint it Black, although I try not to judge a new book by the author's previous ones. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped - it's a fairly well written book, but I didn't find any of the characters particularly appealing and by halfway through it felt like I was having to drag myself through it. It's just doom and misery from start to finish, which is understandable given the subject matter, but makes for very heavy going. The fact that I didn't really like any of the characters meant that after a while I sort of didn't really care what happened to them or how they felt, and although I did read it right to the end, I was glad to finish it! It's a shame as I do think Janet Fitch is a very good writer, but this book really wasn't for me.
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on 15 March 2013
So gorgeous in fact, I forced it upon my family and friends. I shied away from this book at first, as someone who suffers from extreme psychotic depression among other things, I didn't really want to read a book about suicide. Let me tell you, although suicide occurs, this is a book about growth, courage, taking the leap and truly living your life. There is no excuse to not read this, you simply must. Nothing has kicked me more than tuning the last page, I wanted to fly, soar. Get away from my life and start anew, rather than ending it completely. Go. Buy. Read.
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on 1 April 2018
Loooooove Fitch. This is a brilliant book! If you liked White Oleander, you'll love this!
And great customer service :)
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on 6 January 2014
I loved this book so much, although it is not a particularly uplifting read it provoked a lot of emotion into me which I believe is a sign of a great book.
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on 8 May 2014
I purchased this book as I had read white oleander by the same author and thought that was a fantastic book so I gave this a try. It's nowhere as good and I give up half way through. I just couldn't get into it.
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on 15 September 2008
Paint it black is exactly the kind of book I like - it's character driven. One could argue that "nothing happens" - but in fact everything happens.

Josie Tyrell is trying to cope after her boyfriend Michael has committed suicide. It doesn't help that Michael's mother Meredith hates her. Josie Tyrell is a white trash working class girl and Michael is an upper class drop-out.

Josie doesn't only have to deal with her sorrow, but also the fact that Michael is not who she thought he was. He lived in a universe of his own. It's a very interesting comparison between low-life L.A. and the rich and famous LA.

Just like in Fitch's first book the language is rich with metaphors and witty similes.

However the book drags a bit towards the end. I felt that the novel had come to an end when Josie sort of befriends Meredith and is invited to a trip to Europe. But the author pro-longs the drama for no reason, without following up threads and tying up ends.
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on 4 January 2008
I won't bore you by going into the details of the plot, but I have to say that this book was a bit of a disapointment to me. I was a big fan of Janet Fitch's previous book, "White Olleander" and expected something along the same lines. So much is true - "Paint It Black" deals with the same kind of issues of angst and adverse life circomstances for two young female protagonists, however there is very little else in common. "Paint it Black" is page after page of dispiriting angst with no clear plot visible. I must say it was an okay read - something to while away some time when I had nothing else to do - but on the whole, I don't imagine I'll be re-reading it any time soon. Let's just hope that Fitch's next book will be better!
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on 10 May 2007
This is the first Fitch book I have read and I really enjoyed it. Though it takes place in eighties Los Angeles it has echoes of the film noir era. It is a story about loss and identity. Amazing descriptions of L.A., places, people, scenes and atmosphere. Though it is not a suspense thriller it sometimes has that feel, you keep thinking something big is going to happen. The big thing is Josie's self realization. Very absorbing book. I highly recommend it.
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